It’s fall. Time for soup! On our way to Grover Cleveland Playground one day, we had a lucky encounter with perhaps the best soup in Ridgewood at Cracovia Deli. It’s a minimalist, sort of old-timey Polish deli with a surprising amount of homemade goodness for sale. The main draw is their rainbow of soups, including simply prepared sorrel, vegetable, mushroom, red borscht, white borscht, chicken noodle, and pickle — all $2. We’re partial to the red borscht and mushroom; the latter is rich and creamy, with lots of chunks of wild mushrooms (I swear there were bits of morels in there one time, but it was just once), grated carrot, noodles (they change up the variety, but it’s best with flat egg noodles) and overall deep ‘shroomy flavor. Red borscht is stuffed with cabbage, potato, beans, and carrot, and is hearty, beety, and healthy. Pickle is great, too, but we’re loyal to the pickle soup at Krolewskie Jadlo.
They also make various Polish entrees like chicken cutlets, bigos, stuffed cabbage, and our fave: these awesome savory blintzes that are filled with sauerkraut and mushroom and fried. They’re the nondescript tan-colored squares; just heat at 375° for 7 minutes or until warmed through. Serve with sour cream.
Cracovia doesn’t have a steam table, so I’m not sure if any of the food is available hot like at other Polish places, but it’s easy to heat up at home. I usually buy 3 or 4 soups and couple stuffed blintz things and enjoy them all week. They have an impressive selection of ham, cheese, and sausage as well.
501 Woodward Avenue [map]
66-21 Fresh Pond Road [map]